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CBD for Athletes

CBD for Athletes

CBD for Athletes: Research, Uses, and Effects

In recent years, CBD has become a common treatment for athletes around the world. CBD can provide many benefits to help athletes improve their performance, including reducing inflammation, improving focus, reducing anxiety, and improving overall sleep quality. Many professional, Olympic and recreational  athletes have already begun taking CBD to  help deal with chronic or temporary pain, especially in recovery. They can also use it in microdoses throughout the day to increase their overall energy and comfort levels. Athletes can use CBD in a variety of ways to improve their lives on a daily basis.

Benefits of CBD Products for Athletes

CBD products are widely marketed to athletes, and these products do offer many benefits. The most popular benefits include:

*Reduced Inflammation

*Improved energy

*Improved focus

*Better sleep

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s a natural compound from the hemp plant that offers various medicinal properties. It does not have any psychoactive effect and will not get you “high”. CBD was made legal in the United States by the 2018 farm bill.  (

According to the World Health Organization, CBD is not addictive and has been approved for medicinal uses in many countries around the world.

CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system which helps regulate daily functions like sleep, appetite, and memory.  It interacts with your immune and central nervous system to keep you balanced and healthy.

What are the Medicinal Benefits of CBD?

Much research into the medical benefits of CBD still needs to take place but so far science is showing many possible benefits to using CBD. (  CBD has been shown to benefit in the treatment of:



*Multiple sclerosis







*Diatetic complications

*Cardiovascular diseases

*Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases


*Rheumatoid arthritis


CBD has strong anti-inflammatory benefits that can help with many of these conditions and injuries. However, it is important to note that the government has not yet approved these treatments and there is still much more research that needs to be done.

What are the Common Benefits for Athletes Who Take CBD?

Athletes commonly use CBD oil, CBD gum drops, CBD topicals and other CBD products to aid in their recovery after challenging workouts or games.  While different athletes may find CBD useful for different things, the most common benefits include:

Improving sleep quality:

Cannabinoids are processed in your endocannabinoid system (ECS) which directly regulates your sleep cycles.  (

Cannabinoids are processed in your endocannabinoid system (ECS) which directly regulates your sleep cycles.  (

Increased energy:

CBD can help bring about increased energy levels due to its ability to enhance protein synthesis within areas of the brain associated with wakefulness.

Decrease anxiety and stress:

CBD appears to directly influence GABA activity in the brain. GABA activity directly regulates brain activity, and CBD seems to cause it to calm down excess brain activity, which is why you may experience decreased anxiety and increased focus when you take CBD. (,who%20are%20resistant%20to%20benzodiazepines.)

Relieving pain:

CBD, working with your endocannabinoid system, works with many of the receptors in your body to help manage homeostasis.  It does this by regulated internal functions and a range of processes effecting pain, inflammation, mood, stree, sleep and jore. Many pain relievers made with CBD are applied topically like Soothe. (

Since there are no negative side effects for athletes using CBD, it is a very common method of helping athletes get more rest, improve their performance and relieve chronic pain and muscle soreness in daily life.

In fact, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances,

which prompted many professional athletes to eschew ibuprofen for CBD.

Some believe it’s a safer alternative to drugstore pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.

Different Forms of CBD for Athletes

Depending on their needs, athletes may take many forms of CBD. If you’re an athlete using CBD, it’s important that you take the right dosage that works effectively for your needs. In addition, always be sure you are using pure lab tested CBD without THC so you don’t interfere with your athletic performance. (

What Forms of CBD Can Athletes Take?

There are many forms of CBD available to athletes today. The most common form is CBD oil, though gum drops and topicals are also very popular. There are three forms of CBD. They are:

  1. CBD isolate
  2. Broad spectrum CBD
  3. Full spectrum CBD

A CBD isolate is pure CBD. These products contain no cannabinoids, terpenes or other beneficial compounds.  They have no odor or taste. When taking CBD isolates, you will likely have to consume much higher dosages to get the benefits. Isolates are often sold as powders or oils.

Broad spectrum CBD contains cannabinoids and terpenes along with the CBD. The entourage effect of combining CBD with terpenes and cannabinoids is more effective at providing all the health benefits. Broad spectrum CBD is most often sold as an oil or gum drop.

Full spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in the cannabis plant including small amounts of THC.

How Do You Choose the Right CBD Product as an Athlete?

One of the first things you should check when choosing the right CBD product is the accuracy of the labeling. According to one study (, at least 26% of CBD products contained less CBD than the label advertised. It’s important that you find CBD products that are trustworthy. Make sure you check the lab results of the CBD product you are considering buying to make sure the CBD levels are correct and there are no pesticides or heavy metals. (

The Importance of Terpenes

Another thing to check when looking at CBD oils or gum drops is the types of terpenes found in the product. Terpenes are the bioactive compounds found in most plants. (

Depending on the strain, the hemp plant alone contains 100s of different terpenes. Each terpene can provide different health benefits when used in conjunction with the cannabinoids found in CBD. Terpenes often found in CBD include:

*Linalool, known for its calming effect.

*Myrcene, known to improve sleep and reduce inflammation.

*Limonene, known to provide calming and mood-boosting properties.

*Pinene, known to reduce inflammation and improve memory.

*Terpinolene, known to improve sleep and potentially reduce cancer-cell proliferation.

The Importance of CBD Type

Tinctures, topicals and gum drops are the most popular types of CBD products for athletes. ( Tinctures take effect in 15 to 30 minutes and the body can usually absorb up to 35% of the CBD when taken sublingually. Gum drops and other edibles take around 45 minutes to take effect in most cases. Topicals usually take effect within about 15 minutes.  If you’re an athlete looking for instant pain relief, taking a tincture or topical will be the most effective method of finding help from CBD.  However, it’s best to take CBD over periods of time. If you maintain consistency with taking CBD and take the same product for at least a month, you will begin to feel the regular benefits of reduced stress, reduced pain, better sleep and increased focus and energy.

Recommended CBD dosage for athletes

As an athlete, you put your body through a lot of stress every day. Considering this, the benefits of CBD may be found in higher dosages. You must take CBD at the right times and in the right amounts to get the benefits necessary for your body.

How do you find the right dosage?

First, it’s important to realize that CBD is very individual. ( ). You may have vastly different needs from other athletes and the general public. Most people take anywhere from 20 mg to 1,500 mg per day, which is a very wide range for you to work within.

If you can, start by speaking with your doctor to determine the right dosage for you. Not all doctors can provide information about CBD, so if this isn’t possible, no need to fret. There are other ways to determine the right dosage.

A very general rule is to take 1 to 6 milligrams for every 10 pounds of body weight. (, for example, if you are an endurance athlete and weigh 200 pounds, you want to take between 20 and 120 milligrams a day.

However, if you experience chronic pain as an athlete, you may want to take a slightly higher dosage of CBD, depending on what actually benefits your body. As long as you don’t go over 1500 milligrams a day you are likely to be okay taking whatever dosage seems to work best for you. (

What are potential side effects from CBD for athletes?

So far, there have been few side effects observed in athletes who use CBD. One of the most important possible side effects that has been seen is inhibition of drug metabolism. ( , CBD can make it more challenging for your body to absorb and use other drugs. If you’re taking drugs or medications, talk with your doctor before starting CBD to make sure it doesn’t interfere with their effectiveness.

A few other side effects have occurred in rare cases where patients used CBD. The most reported side effects were (

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight and appetite change
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth

In general, CBD causes no damage to blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, glucose levels, gastrointestinal transit, or other bodily functions. Of course, as a note of caution, many studies performed so far have focused on animals. If you experience any strange side effects after taking CBD, bring them up with your doctor to make sure you aren’t harming your body.

Overall, CBD tinctures, CBD topicals, and CBD gum drops are all effective methods of dealing with pain, stress, and insomnia as an athlete. Whether you are a pro, an Olympian, an amateur or a rec athlete, you can use any of these CBD products, within the recommended dosages, to feel better and do better in your athletic career.

If you have further questions about CBD and how it can work for you, check out our FAQ’s ( or connect with us today. ( We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.